Jane Cai in Beijing

Bank accountant Amanda Li is counting down to annual bonus day. She said the 50,000 yuan (HK$63,400) she expects to receive could earn 750 yuan in interest for a three-month investment in a wealth management product (WMP) - a 6 per cent annualised return that she could use to buy herself a pair of boots.

Mainland local government debt had swollen to 17.9 trillion yuan (HK$22.7 trillion) by the middle of this year, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).

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